Toys "R" Us makes e-commerce push to lure back lost consumers

Having fallen behind to establish its presence in the e-commerce sector, Toys "R" Us now plans to boost its e-commerce activity by revamping its website according to an article by CNBC.

According to the article, the revamp which is expected to roll out by early July, is a part of a US$100 million investment by Toys "R" Us over the last three years. This was made to boost its e-commerce experience. As such, the company is trying to make its website standout from the clutter as it faces stiff competition from online websites such as Amazon, and retailers such as Target and Walmart.

The article states that the toy retailer is taking actions revamp its website to woo back customers who may have fled to e-commerce websites or its competitors. As a part of this website makeover, customers can now streamline their buying decision and purchasing cycle with the help of newly introduced categories. These will shrink the basic purchases cycle to from least five steps to two.

Besides the website overhaul, the company is also aiming to offer a more personalised experience to customers. These include targeted email and tailored presentations of web content, specific to a shopper's interests.

In a statement to CNBC and USA Today, Lance Will, global chief technology officer explained that the website reflects the identity of the brand and paves way for future transaction. He explained that more than 60% of the company's customers visit the website before going to an actual store.

Earlier last month, David Brandon, CEO of the company stated that despite a strong start to the holidays, in the weeks following Black Friday, the company faced a combination of sluggish sales and intense promotional activity.

"The widely recognised tough retail environment this holiday and continued weakness in the entertainment and baby categories contributed to the erosion of our top-line and an overall disappointing year.  However, with 2017 already well underway, we remain focused on improving in every area of our business," he said.

He had said that the company also has a number of important initiatives planned this year, including the launch of its new webstore and the expansion of the joint venture with Fung Retailing in Asia.

Shortly after,  Toys “R” Us also officially announced it is unifying its business in Japan with the business in Greater China and Southeast Asia. The move consolidates the brand’s Japan division Toys “R” Us, with Toys”R”Us Asia Limited, which oversees stores in Greater China and Southeast Asia.

Toys "R" Us Asia is a Hong Kong-based joint venture of Toys "R" Us and Southeast Asian retail giant Fung Retailing Group. It currently operates 223 stores in Greater China and the Southeast Asian markets covering Brunei, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand and licenses an additional 34 stores in the Philippines and Macau.

Under the new move, Toys "R" Us Asia said it will be advantageously positioned to maximise the synergies arising from the integration. It has also planned to add 160 stores in Japan to form a pan-Asia network of specialty toy chain stores.